I’m taking a quick detour from all things kids, food, and eating to talk books. Reading fiction is something I’ve been able to rediscover as my kids get older and I’m gifted with slivers of leisure time. It also helps that I’m well rested enough to manage more than a paragraph before falling asleep.
Sometimes I post about what I’m reading on my Real Mom Nutrition Facebook page and Instagram accounts, and I’ve connected with a lot of you there about books. One reader said she even came to my page for reading recommendations! So I thought I’d share ten books I’ve read and loved this year. These would be perfect to devour over the holidays–or give to a favorite book-lover in your life.
This list includes a Pulitzer Prize winner, a YA novel, and a memoir, and they’re all page turners.
10 Books I Couldn’t Put Down This Year
All the Light We Cannot See: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and definitely the best book I’ve read this year. The chapters alternate between a young boy who ends up in the Hitler Youth and a blind girl living with her family in occupied France. The story is gripping, the writing is gorgeous, and the characters stick with you for a long time.
Kitchens of the Great Midwest: This novel follows a woman’s journey from misunderstood, super-taster teenager to celebrated chef, and the story is told by the cast of characters that intersects her life. The chapters, each named for a food, even include a few recipes.
The Girl on the Train: I know a lot of people have already torn through this psychological thriller about a London commuter who thinks she witnesses a shocking crime out the train window one day (then gets tangled up in what happened). But if you haven’t yet, you should! Luckiest Girl Alive: Creepy and unsettling a la Gone Girl with a crazy plot turn I didn’t see coming, this book centers around a magazine editor who seems to have it all. She also has a dark secret from her time at a prestigious private high school. I read this in three days and wanted to immediately read it again.Landline: I just loved this sweet book about a married woman who finds a way to reunite with the man her husband used to be in college. Perhaps it’s because I knew my husband when we were teenagers, or perhaps it’s because this is the rare love story about a (gasp!) regular ol’ married couple, but this one really spoke to me. The Snow Child: A Pulitzer Prizer finalist set in the harsh conditions of 1920’s Alaska, this is the perfect book to read while you’re tucked into your warm bed. An aging homesteader couple finds a mysterious and seemingly magical child in the woods in this part-novel, part-fairy tale.The Girl You Left Behind: I technically couldn’t put this down last year, but I wanted to include it because I know so many of you loved Me Before You, written by the same author. This one travels between WWI France, where a woman treasures a portrait her husband painted of her, and modern times, where a woman is gifted a painting of a beautiful woman but has to fight to hang on to it.A Window Opens: The main character, a slightly-frazzled mom who started her career in print media and is trying to find her way in the wild world of new media, really resonated with me. She leaves her magazine job to join a hip new start-up called Scroll (think Amazon) and tries to balance her career dreams with her family life and find her place in a strange new world.We Were Liars: I’m usually not big on young adult novels, but this story about a wealthy family gathering at their summer beach homes totally sucked me in. You’ll finish this in a few hours–but you probably won’t see the surprise ending coming!Why Not Me?: I loved Mindy Kaling’s first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). This is another collection of smart, laugh-out-loud essays about everything from joining a sorority in college to making her way in Hollywood.
What books did YOU love this year?